With the decline in Venice’s power and influence, Rethymnon was captured by the Turks in 1646 and became part of the Ottoman Empire. Minarets and domes were added to former Christian churches, which were transformed into mosques in which the new Muslim population could worship. The solid, stone walls of classic Venetian houses were adorned with wooden balconies and the waterfront cafes were built as places for the men to congregate and drink coffee.
The harbour today makes the most of its stunning location, and competition to attract business is fierce among the waiters in the dockside tavernas. Just a short stroll inland to the Platia Petihaki where restaurant tables are scattered around the pavements that surround the graceful Rimondi Fountain is probably a better bet for a reasonable meal without the hard sell.

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